Working Parents: The Hirt Family
● By Digital Media Director
Chase and Rachel
Kids: Jaxon (4.5), Lyvia (10 months) Neo, the family Goldendoodle (3)
What are your job titles?
Chase – 1st grade teacher for Freedom Elementary, Assistant Football Coach and Assistant Track & Field Coach for the Harrisburg High School
Rachel – Internal Audit Officer for CorTrust Bank in Sioux Falls
1. What is a typical day like in your home?
In the morning we typically are up by 6 a.m. Jaxon likes to eat his breakfast and watch a television show. Lyvia is busy crawling around getting into everything at this age. Chase takes Lyvia to her in-home daycare in Harrisburg and I take Jaxon to his pre-k learning center in Sioux Falls.
During ‘normal’ seasons without football and track, Chase and I both have a typical 8-5 p.m. schedule. When everyone gets home in the evening, I typically cook our evening meal. After dinner, Chase and I take time to play with the kids. I enjoy playing games and coloring with Jaxon and Chase does the interactive play, including football and wrestling. When it’s nice we like to get outside and go for family walks.
During football and track season, Chase usually has several nights out of the house. This is when life gets a bit more hectic. He typically tries to take Jaxon to as many of the evening scheduled things as possible. As a family, we try to get to the Friday night football games to cheer on the Harrisburg Tigers!
Summer usually means Chase’s summer schedule is more flexible, so it
is nice to have him around more. With coaching sports, they usually have camps
and other weekly activities that involve extra time; however, he does a lot
more of the cooking, daily household things, and running kids around so we
always looks forward to summer. Our running joke is we can’t wait for ‘summer
2. As a working parent, how do you juggle a busy schedule?
Planning ahead, communication, and teamwork. Without each of us pitching in, we would not be successful.
3. What do you find to be the most challenging?
As a working parent, the most challenging thing is making that quality time for family. It’s easy to feel guilty about being away from the kids all day. So, when we do get to be with them we try to ‘be present’ and make the most of the time we get together each day.
4. What's your trick to stay organized?
Planning of weekly meals ahead of time so we always know what we are having for meals. Balancing the household duties between each other. I like to keep the house picked up during the week before we leave in the morning and before bedtime. Chase does the laundry. We balance the drop off and pickup of the kids during the week. Utilizing isles online shopping is very helpful. Sometimes with so much going on, it is just too hard to find that extra hour to go to the store. There is a feeling of accomplishment when you can plan your meals and stick to that plan for a whole week! Plus, having that extra time to spend together as a family is a huge win!
5. What tips do you have for other busy working families?
Plan ahead and have a calendar. Chase and I both have calendars that we use and if we have things going on that week, we make sure to communicate about them ahead of time.
Planning meals a week in advance and writing those down and having the groceries on hand. It’s hard to always find meals that are quick, easy, and healthy but planning ahead for these makes it much easier.
Have meals together as a family. This is so important for our family because it may be the only time we have as a family that day. I am sure it is harder for families that have older kids involved in different activities but even if this is a once a week tradition, stick to it.
Go to church on the weekends together. This is one certain way to start each week off on the right foot! Keep your focus and center on Christ instead of the busy week ahead.
6. How do you find time for yourself?
We will get our calendars out and if there are certain things we want to do we will just make sure it works for both of us or we call in a grandparent to help us make it work. We have both been beyond blessed to have a wonderful family support system. Both sets of parents live fairly close and are always willing to help out. Both of Chase’s parents are retired teachers and my mom is also a retired teacher so because of that and their flexible schedules, we are grateful for the times they can come up and help whenever we need.
7. How do you plan your days/weeks?
Lots of communication. Chase and I text throughout the day if we forget to talk about something the night before that we have going on. Sometimes we will send each other emails as reminders as well.
8. How might you motivate other working families?
Focus on the day that was given to you and not so much about tomorrow, next week, or next month. Each day is a gift. Enjoy today because tomorrow is not promised. Fit things into your schedule when you can, do not be afraid to say ‘no’. Take time for yourself because this helps you be an overall happier person, a better employee, parent, and spouse!